Five Things Christian Apologetics Must Have
Southern Evangelical Seminary
I was raised in a Christian home, always active in an evangelical church, and was even on a first name basis with my youth pastor. However, I was not “apologetically” prepared for my first year in college. It started after freshman orientation when my advisor met with us and said, “Look, you’re getting a liberal arts degree so you have to take one class in religion and philosophy. Get it over with now. Don’t wait until the end.”
So, by the end of my freshman year, after taking Bible and Philosophy, I still considered myself a Christian, but I was fairly convinced as a result of taking those classes that the Bible contained historical errors and that no argument could prove the existence of God. Those were only the things I could verbalize. I had also internalized that some truth, especially religious truth, must be subjective and relative.
However, I still had this gnawing inclination in the back of my mind. Remember the youth pastor, who I knew by name? I thought, he was smart, went to seminary, knew Greek and Hebrew and even some philosophy, and he did not believe the things I learned in class. Why did I believe them? . . . because my college professor did? All I knew at that point is I had to look into matters more deeply.
Apologetics to the Rescue
Up to this point, all I was exposed to is what I now call evidential or historical apologetics. In other words, I knew the biblical and historical points regarding Jesus’ resurrection. However, that did not help with the philosophy or even supposed errors in the Bible.
Then I finally bought a book titled When Skeptics Ask. It changed me. It was the apologetic baptism I was hoping and looking for. What made that exposure better than any other? In short, it defined what apologetics is and is not, covered truth, arguments for God’s existence, different views of God (worldviews), and organized questions and points to show a systematic defense of the Christian faith.
I was hooked and still am. However, I have discovered that not all approaches to apologetics are created equal. I now use five principles to evaluate apologetics systems, people, books, curriculums, and other materials. If it does not measure up, it does not necessarily mean it is all bad, but it is not complete. Apologetics needs to include these five things…
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